“On the death of a friend, we should consider that the fates through confidence have devolved on us the task of a double living, that we have henceforth to fulfill the promise of our friend's life also, in our own, to the world.” — Henry David Thoreau
Two Canyons District students have been awarded the first-ever Paul S. Kirby Memorial Scholarships.
Hillcrest’s Rosa Cortez and Brighton’s Fiona Bryn VanLeeuwen were selected this year as the recipients of the $1,000 scholarships that were established in the longtime and beloved administrator’s name after his sudden passing on April 17, 2015.
Each year, scholarships in Dr. Kirby’s name will be given to one Hillcrest student who has learned English as a second language while pursuing and education. The Brighton scholarship is for a student who is a standout in music, especially those who play in bands.
The schools forward names of qualifying students to Kirby’s family for a final selection
Dr. Kirby was known during his tenure as an educator for his dedication to excellence and positive approaches to student behavior.
Dr. Kirby started working as an educator in 1993, when he was hired as a Spanish teacher at Treasure Mountain Middle School in Park City and Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s School in Salt Lake City. He joined the Judge Memorial faculty as a Spanish teacher in 1994 and moved to Copper Hills High School in 1995 where he also assumed the role as Foreign Languages Department Chair. In 1999, he became the Assistant Principal at West Jordan High, and was transferred a year later to Brighton High. He was an ardent supporter of the Bengals for 10 years before beginning his assignment in 2010 as an Assistant Principal of Hillcrest High. Dr. Kirby, who also has worked as an adjunct Spanish instructor at Utah State University and Salt Lake Community College, embraced his new role as one of the Huskies’ biggest cheerleaders and bridge-builder to the Hispanic community that surrounds the Midvale-area school.
Dr. Kirby was a well-known and respected scholar in foreign-language instruction and Spanish language and literature. He studied Spanish and medieval literature at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, earned his first of two master’s degrees in Spanish Language and Medieval Literature from the University of Utah, and in 2012, as he received his Ph.D. from Utah State University, he was lauded for the high quality of the qualitative research in his doctoral dissertation, “Research into the Utility of Standards in Foreign Language Instruction.”
Want to contribute to the Dr. Paul S. Kirby Memorial Scholarship fund? The Canyons Education Foundation continues to accept donations to these scholarships.